London's big tippers leave laptops for cabbies

"I had 62,000 mobile phones in the back of my cab the other day..."

"I had 62,000 mobile phones in the back of my cab the other day..."

Missing a mobile phone? It may have been left in the back of a London black cab along with the other 62,000 that have slipped unseen out of pockets and bags over the last six months. Passengers have also unwittingly donated 1,300 PDAs and 2,900 laptops (which aren't exactly easy to miss), to London's 24,000 licensed cab drivers. The survey, carried out by trade paper Taxi Newspaper and mobile security company Pointsec Mobile Technologies, questioned 131 cabbies to ascertain the ease with which mobile devices are lost on the move. An average of three phones have been found in every licensed taxi since January this year. A further five per cent of those drivers questioned had discovered a PDA - one of which was lost by Prince William's bodyguard in early August. silicon.com's digital blunders survey in July found a whopping 18 per cent of respondents had lost their mobile phone with another 15 per cent stating they knew of someone that had misplaced theirs. Over half the UK population now own a mobile phone and the Gartner Group predicts more than one billion mobile devices with wireless network connectivity will be in use worldwide by 2003. Magnus Ahlberg, Manager of Pointsec Mobile Technologies, said: "It is often not the value of the handheld device which is important, but the content, which if lost or stolen can put a company at serious risk of sabotage, exploitation or damage to their professional integrity." Although people were quite nonchalant about re-claiming lost mobile phones, 93 per cent of laptops and 85 per cent of PDAs were reunited with their owners by the honest cabbies.